In a blog post we put out a few weeks ago, we discussed “blind hiring,” a trending new hiring practice that some employers are using to mitigate the effects of unconscious bias. Unconscious bias refers to the mental shortcuts and stereotypes we use unconsciously when judging situations and making decisions. While the concept of unconscious bias is widely accepted in psychology, many people may find it hard to believe that their everyday decisions are regularly influenced by unconscious bias.
Recently some HR leaders from Google, whose HR practices are closely followed by many, have launched a website called re:Work that is designed to explore and share information about making the workplace better. One of the main topics that the new platform will discuss is what Google refers to as “unbiasing.” In this context, unbiasing is the process of acknowledging and minimizing the impact that unconscious bias has on our attitudes and decisions.
Google’s re:Work project offers a place to gather, share, and explore research about unconscious bias in the workplace, all with the goal of creating a more inclusive work environment and sharing best practices and insights gleaned from Google’s talent management experiences. Google, along with many other tech companies, have been under scrutiny for a lack of diversity among their employees. “Unbiasing” is a way to investigate the source of this lack of diversity in order to actively counteract the unconscious biases that may be unfairly disqualifying otherwise talented candidates. So far, Google’s new re:Work site features several guides for avoiding unconscious bias, along with an ongoing blog.
The project is a great way for Google to demonstrate that they are committed to promoting fair hiring practices, while simultaneously setting an example for other companies to start investigating their own processes. With the recent news that Intel surpassed their diversity hiring goals, the pressure is on for tech companies to adopt less biased hiring practices. Promoting workplace inclusion is an important goal for any employer to have, and examining the role that unconscious bias plays in the hiring process is a solid first step in the right direction. You can check out the re:Work site here.